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Instant reaction: Aston Villa 1-0 Wigan Athletic

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Jack Grealish saves the day

Aston Villa v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship
Jack Grealish scored the game's only goal.
Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images

It was goalless for oh so long, but a late Jack Grealish strike won Villa the game. Here's how it went down:

The first half was all Villa, but after a bright start, it turned into an incredibly frustrating half. Wigan looked nervous at the start, and sat very deep, allowing the hosts to take the game to them. Jordan Amavi came close twice in the opening quarter, one effort being a vicious volley that went just over.

The best chance of the half fell to Jonathan Kodjia, who was sent clean through by Albert Adomah. Unfortunately for the big striker, Jussi Jääskeläinen was equal to his chipped effort. After this, the game stagnated somewhat, with Villa failing to break Wigan down. Crosses were overhit, and momentum stalled. The half started so bright, but sadly ended with a flat feeling.

The second half was just as frustrating, so Steve Bruce rolled the dice on the hour mark. Fit again Ross McCormack came on for Gary Gardner, and Villa switched to a 4-1-4-1 of sorts, which in my opinion, is pretty stupid. Nothing really happened, and so ten minutes later, Rudy Gestede came on for Albert Adomah. At this point, I don't have a clue what the formation was.

Wigan can consider themselves lucky to have finished the game with 11 players. Luke Garbutt blatantly pulled back a Villa man whilst already on a booking. A foul was called, but the ref bottled it. Seconds later, Jack Grealish gets a yellow for exactly the same offence. Seriously, Championship officiating is trash.

But seconds later, a Villa cross was cleared, but only as far as Jack Grealish, who curled a shot into the top corner, giving Villa the lead in the 87th minute.

At some point after the goal, Will Grigg came on, and Tommy Elphick was pretty terrified. I'm not even sorry.

And just finally, Jordan Ayew was trash.

It really wasn't pretty, but Villa got the job done. And you know what, Wigan have been alright away from home this season, so I'd call this a good result. 3 points closer to promotion.